Today I would like to share about an unexpected blessing along with a few things that the Lord has been teaching me.
I have a part-time job to support myself financially during my year-long internship. I expected it to take a backseat to the other things going on in my life - participating in the discipleship program and trying to grow an art business, to name a few - but I have grown to love it in unexpected ways and it has become a really defining part of my life in Anderson. Today I received a blessing from my little job that I in no way deserved, and one that actually was costly to my employers to give, but they gave it excitedly and cheerfully. It will suffice to say that I shed a couple of thankful tears throughout the morning.
First, you should know something about me: I have a hard time with grace. They say the oldest sibling is usually the most hung up on fairness and just treatment - I definitely identify with that. I cringe deep inside when I have to accept something I didn't earn. A gift given freely usually leaves me feeling confused; so much so that, no matter how many years I've been on this earth, Christmas and birthdays can even be uncomfortable. An act of service leaves me feeling guilty and assuming that someone did it for me because I usually do it wrong. And then, when I have done something wrong, I feel much more closure when I've received my due punishment and then move on from there on even ground. The problem is that, as a believer and follower of Jesus, my whole life is hinged on grace! So I find myself constantly re-learning what it means to live from undeserved love rather than trying to earn it. It's safe to say that I'm currently in one of those seasons of trying to reiterate grace to my unbelieving heart, and I will be honest: most days I cannot grasp it enough to live from it.
The Lord knows that my best understanding of things, and especially of Him, comes through analogies. Standing at the highest overlook of Linville Falls, watching the water surge over the edge of the rock face, is a captivating experience. Last summer, I went there a lot. From that distance, the waterfall is as big as my thumb, yet you can still feel the rumble of it's power and imagine its mist reaching you all the way on top of that mountain. In those moments, I caught a glimpse of the power of God. Granted, Linville Falls is one waterfall, from one river, in one little community (the location isn't even considered a town. Yep.) And you could continue zooming out until you're looking at North America, the globe, the solar system, the galaxy. But it's in that one little waterfall where I experience the heart knowledge of how powerful God is. I think if I grasped the full of it, my mind would actually explode.
I have to realize that this is how my feeble mind must approach grace, too. I have a tendency to get frustrated at myself when I can't understand grace (oh, the irony) or even try to force feed it to myself like a large pill that I just can't seem to swallow. But that's not how the blessing of grace works. The blessing from my employers was a gift that came as a "we decided to do this, it's happening, you didn't really make it happen, we chose for it to happen, you get to enjoy it, no worries about what it costs us, we're happy to give it, because we care for you, and here's some extra blessing while we're at it". Today I am overwhelmingly thankful for the little grace analogy that God has given me through my little part-time work and I am reveling in imagining how much more the blessing is that he extends to me every moment of every day for all eternity. I certainly can't begin to focus on what that means or feels like, but how sweet it is that God intersects the monotony of our everyday lives to give us glimpses of his ridiculous love and grace.